Sea Bass | Cigar City Brewing

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Sea BassSea Bass

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
According to the head brewer, this a "dark farmhouse ale".

Added by aepb1 on 09-29-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 194
Photo of AdamBear
1.4/5  rDev -61.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I've been going to school here in Florida and I've been trying to get as much Cigar City as I can before I leave. I was so excited to find this beer on tap in anticipation was let down so harshly.

A-very dark brown with a lot of cream colored head

S-umm its smells like ketchup to me...I got a friend to confirm this. It honestly smells a bit gross.

T-Oh my lord this might be the most pungent brew I've ever tasted. It hits with a tangy blast of sour tomato. Thinking about this taste any more..makes me sick. This might be the beer for Blood Mary lovers.

M-medium carbonation with an awful sharp finish

D-Absolutely disgusting. Possibly the worst beer I've ever had. I can't finish it.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
1.56/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A: Poured into a pint glass and got massive amount of head which has me worried. 90% Foam & 10% beer. Once it settles, the body is brown with a bubbly off-white head that last forever.

S: Smells like sour cherries, funkiness, and vinegar.

T: I've had sours before and farmhouse ales and saisons. This one has a strong mouth-puckering flavor of vinegar & sour cherries. Can't pick anything else out because of the vinegar flavor.

M: Medium body & high carbonation.

D: I heard good and bad things about this before I bought it. Couldn't even finish the glass and poured it down the drain. First beer I've had from CCB that I strongly dislike. Would never get this again.

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Photo of ShrinerMcBitey
1.83/5  rDev -50%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - Poured a nice rich brown / black into chalice

S - sour fruit , tart, background malt

T - Sour, nasty, vinegary - tastes like a bad beer - Bad OJ, tomato and yeasts.

M- Nothing special or bad to report. Medium body.

O - Umm, I wont ever have it again. Just not to my liking at all. To me this was like some mutant cocktail of bad orange juice taste extract mixed with a flat malt beer body and just plain bad.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
2.05/5  rDev -44%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

$11.99 for a 25.4 oz. bottle from Ward's in Gainesville, FL

A: extremely deep mahogany color with nice lacy head
S: mild nose with sharp acid qualities, I'm hoping the taste isn't the same!
T: yikes, sharp, sour with funky aftertaste, I'm hoping it's not supposed to taste like this, appears to be infected with sharp yeasty bite
M: not good with sour qualities
D: not

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Photo of Wisconsinality
2.09/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bottle poured into Duvel tulip.

Thanks to McDiddypop for this one.

A- Pours a deep cola brown with no light let in. A huge head, four fingers at least, sticks around forever and leaves gobby lacing on the side of the glass.

S- A little worry sets in. Lots of sourness right off the bat. I am having a hard time picking up anything else. Maybe some cherry but that kind of plays with the sourness.

T- Big sourness just like the nose predicted. Maybe infected? I can barely detect some roasted malt and that is about it.

M- Medium to lighter bodied with crisp carbonation and a biting sour. Dry on the finish.

O- Pretty disappointed that this one is infected. Lets hope Cigar City can get some of these QC issues under control.

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Photo of alcstradamus
2.23/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a cola brown with an out of control head that engulfs the glass and has me worried about the i-word

The aroma is medicinal and metallic, with notes of cherry and oak underneath and a heavy vinegar character.

The flavor is a gross mix of cigarette ash, cherry, vinegar, and cough medicine.

The body is fine despite the high carbonation.

Overall this beer is an absolute mess. I hope that this is a bad bottle. Please let this be a bad bottle. There is no way this should have made it out of the test-batch stage.

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2.48/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750mL bottle to tulip.

A: Loud pop upon uncapping. A light brown head rises to 4 fingers with a texture transforming from compact foam to bubble bath. The head fills with pockets of air as the larger bubbles pop and temporarily increases the rate of deflation. The length of retention overall is above average however. The body is really dark brown, almost completely opaque and reveals some deep amber tints only when held to light. Small light colored flecks of sediment can be seen at the bottom of the glass.

S: Flesh of cherry, white grape, strawberry, red currants and sherry vinegar. Light earth and must followed by oaky impressions. Some dark malts come through as well. This beer is nothing like a Farmhouse.

T: Overly sweet and very tangy with strong acidic notes of vinegar. Increasingly fruit forward, displaying qualities of each fruit previosuly noted in the aroma. Resembles a Flanders more than a Farmhouse.

M: Light bodied with aggressive carbonation and a mouth puckering quality.

D: The aroma was the only really likeable characteristic of this beer. A far cry from a farmhouse and a pretty big miss from one of my favorite breweries. Life goes on.

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Photo of bierguru
2.73/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A -
brown murky color with a thick soapy head stays really well

S -
big grape smell followed by sourness

T -
big grape flavor followed by some spice fig finished with a huge sourness

M -
very foamy and bubbly mouth feel very airy highly carbonated a litle on the dry side

D -
takes getting used to grape in beer it is fairly odd but not bad however when you add the sour taste its not that good at all

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Photo of bigfnjoe
2.94/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a Dogfish snifter

A- pours dark brown with a crazy puffy light tan head....this is way too overcarbed, because it took me a good....15 minutes to fill my snifter to a drinkable level. Man, that's not a good sign

S- the aroma is strong with tart cherries. Umm...if that's supposed to be the aroma, it's great. If not....uh oh.

T- tart cherry taste, but there's something off about it....almost a medicinal quality to it as opposed to a pure cherry one

M- there's a very chalky quality to it...I'm not a fan at all

O- if this was intended to be a sour, it's not a great one. If this was intended to be something else, it's a sour. Very disappointing, my second infection from CCB

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Photo of JamnesCameron
2.99/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Received as a blind from Cuzco in Blind BIF #3, thanks Nate!

Pours a deep, deep ruby with a thick head of yeasty, tan foam.

Aromas of sour cherries and cherry pits. Musty, and ropy. And wood. There is absolutely nothing saison about this smell. It's killer, but not saison-like.

First sip is tannic, and very sour. Cigar City's interpretation of a belgian red, but they labeled it as a saison. Hints of cherry pits, and the occassional whiff of acetone. Lots of wild bugs in this one.

Mouthfeel is puckering, medium bodied, and tannic.

Very drinkable sour beer. This would be great in the summer time as a thirst quencher. I'd give it better marks if presented as a belgian red, but this is nowhere near a saison.

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Photo of crusian
3.07/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bottle from awesome girlfriend from total wine in tampa.
Pours... well... I have never actually had a beer that I pour into a glass and there is zero liquid. there is usually some tiny amount... but this had none. so... 30 minutes later...
turns out to be a rich brown with a nice bouquet of cherry and sour, and some funk, along with a chemical pungent odor...
taste is a nice mild sour cherry... it does have that chemical taste to it on the finish, though... and it gets stronger as you drink it. Overall, not too bad, but the chemical taste to it really dampers it for me... and really leaves something to be desired in the aftertaste...
the more i drink this the harder it becomes to drink... the first few sips were good, but man this just begins to coat the tongue, and becomes VERY chemical tasting. I had a hard time finishing this.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.12/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Opens up as a slight gusher. Poured into a tulip glass a dark tan brown color with a big, lively light tan head. The aroma is sour apple, pear, and slight roast. Light MF. Sour upfront, acetone, with slight coffee roast note that adds some bitterness. Hmm, this is an odd one and I am not so sure it is suppose to be sour. It works but struggles a bit. I’m just ok on this one. Some booze noticeable as it warms.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5


Thanks, Ryan! Bottle opened by me at the 2011 Pizza Port Barrel Blast.

A: Deep crimson with a bubbly off white head.

S: Slightly medicinal vitamin and acetic character. Grape and plum, dark cherry comes out with warming.

T: Tastes like cherry and Flintstone vitamin. Some grape and plum with vinegar. Quite vinous. Very dry finish.

M: Medium body with far too much carbonation. Sticky and effervescent.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.16/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 01/02/11 notes. Had at a local tasting thanks to nimbleprop; thanks Mac.

a - Pours a murky amber-mahogany color with two fingers of fluffy off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour fruits, dark fruit, citrus, and spices.

t - Tastes of sour apples, sour fruit, dark fruit, and lightly metallic.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - An average saison. Someone at the tasting said they had this a month ago and their bottle was much mroe tart and had a lot more cherries; I didn't get any cherries in this one. Glad I got to try it but wouldn't seek out again.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.16/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: I wish I could say I've had worse experiences (cough, White Birch Eorna Coele Ale). Starts growing like a tumor. Takes 15-20 mins to pour this foam monster. Once the shaving cream settles in the sink of my cup, it's dark brown and THE murkiest beer I've ever seen. No light penetration, even though the color is decidedly medium brown. Head is brick brown khaki.

S: Brett's in the house. Actually smells pretty good- funky tartness with a chunk of pie and oatmeal.

T: Well this is a delicious milkshake. It's so thick, must be littered with yeast. Progressively more and more tart but mild overall in effect. Tart flavor is most akin to plums, but this isn't quite where I wanna pin my finger.

M: Mouthful. Thick and creamy... Interesting. Tartness dries the palate slightly.

O: Glad I wasn't the one who bought this. It'd probably be a pretty decent beer without so much yeast in the bottle mucking it up.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle in a recent trade. Thanks McDiddyPop! 750ml bottle...

A: A super dark murky brown / black color. A thick 3 inch tan head that fades slowly. Good.

S: I get an earthy tartness upfront with a hint of energy drink and cherry. An interesting earthiness in the middle with sour patch scent on the backend. Decent.

T: Kind of a murky grassy taste upfront with a hint of tart cherry blended in. Sweet malts / tartness in the middle with a bready rye on the backend. Eh, wow, disappointed.

M: Full bodied with a heavy carbonation. A dry tart finish. Good.

D: Kind of hard to get past the grassy tartness about this one. Decent.

All in all, this was a disappointment. Probably one of the worst CCB brews I've had. I'm not a fan of sours, but I've had some I thought were good and some I totally hated. This was not a good one. If you like sours, maybe try this, but otherwise avoid.

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Photo of bheilman
3.19/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Okay, I just tried a couple Cigar City beers. I liked the IPA. This is supposed to be a saison, but tastes nothing like the style. It is way more similar to a sour or flanders style. It's not a bad beer, but it tastes nothing like what I expect out of a saison. It has very little malt smoothness, it is very bitter and fruity and the color is fairly dark. It is so sour that it is not that drinkable. I'm not sure why it's called Sea Bass, but I tend to believe it got this name because it tastes like you think a beer made out of fish would taste. Of course, it's not that bad, but it's not a saison and it's not something I will buy again. I will enojoy this because my basketball team just pulled off an upset.

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Photo of chinchill
3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Shared large bottle.
Huge foamy head from a bottle that was itself foaming over.
Medium-high tartness with mild bitterness. Plenty fruity.
Boozy, funky, sour aroma.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.22/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml, 2010?
Lost Abbey tulip

A: Pours a murky reddish hued brown color. Tons of carbonation, over carbo. Four fingers off white slightly tan head. Tiny bubbles streaming up sides of glass. The cap had dark brown funky goop on it.

S: Smells like a full on sour beer, more than a Saison. As I have heard, this one has gotten funky over the years. Balsamic vinegar. Tart cherry. Tanic woodiness. Smells of Flanders red.

T: Tip of the tongue is that tart acidic sour tinge. Then in the middle of the palate you get this strange OFF funkiness. Like rancid woodiness. Infection maybe? Not pleasant. There is an almost cocoa like flavor in there. Finish is dry, but some of that funk lingers with you.

M: Medium bodied. Thank god carbonation sort of clears the palate.

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Photo of kagent777
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My dad picked this up for me when he visited last November. I poured this one into my CCB snifter because I do not have a chalice.

Appearance: Holy moly a geyser. This one spewed all over my computer desk as I opened it then I let it drip down into the snifter. Once I got it under control and poured a little, it had a huge rocky head on top of a murky dark brown beer.

Smell: This one has a huge smell which is nice on a fall evening. I smell apple juice, maybe some nutmeg and other fall spices. The yeast is a dominant factor here, lending a significant load of character.

Taste: This one has a load of character. A very prickly acidity over a somewhat dark malt base. This beer is somewhat sour or tart, maybe a bit too much. A bit of roast char is noticeable after a few sips also. For 8 ABV, the alcohol is actually quite apparent.

Mouthfeel: This one is over carbed, maybe from letting it sit for almost a year. The body is middling and the flavors coat the mouth quite well.

Overall: Not a balanced beer, but really flavorful. I am glad to have had it before CCB quite brewing it. An experiment that did not quite hit it's mark.

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Photo of beersensei305
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Beer pours a red brown (burgundy) that is barely transulcent. Creamy, thick head that lingers a long time. Tart smell yet sweet you can smell cider right off it. Sour grapes taste at the front, mild fruity flavor in the middle and a little dry at the end- still tart. Tart from the cider. Drinkablity is good, its not a strong brew.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.37/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Andrewinski1. Poured into a tulip. This beer turns out to be a gusher. Took a while to pour because it was mostly foam to start. It eventually settles down to a brown bodied beer with a thick residing off white head. When it's all said and done, this one doesn't look bad, but too much is too much.

The nose is kind of weak on this one. Just faint sour cherry aromas. Honestly, this doesn't resemble to much a saison so far. Really a dry flavor on this. Toasty malts with a bit of pepper to it. Slightly lemon grass flavor to it but there's not a heck of a lot going on.

Rough carbonation on this, with a relatively light body. Nice dry finish. Overall this doesn't seem to hit the mark for a saison in my opinion. Not the worst beer I've ever had but nothing special here.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

From 750mL bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 4/4/12
*From notes

A: Deep, interior artery blood in color. The moment I begin pouring this, it foams up like none other. I mean a 4+ finger head and then some. Even though the head is massive, it doesn't leave any lacing or a collar.

S: Funky. I get the feeling this isn't intentional.

T: Yeah. This is infected. Not in a bad way though, as it's actually pretty tasty. It's a bit tart from the start, but it evens out on the mid, where some dark fruit hits. Toward the back, the funk fades ever so slightly to reveal a medium toasted malt.

M: Just explodes in the mouth like a bottle of good champagne. Massive Costco quantities of carbonation.

O: One of the best infected beers I've stumbled across. Seriously. If I were Joey Redner, I'd tell folks that this was intentional, as it drinks well and has plenty of redeeming qualities. Other then the feel, I'd give this a thumb up. But if you're still holding it, drink now. It's only gonna get worse.

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Photo of tbrown4
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle from my friend Greg in a trade about a month ago. It's been in the fridge in the on-deck status since then.

750ml -> Duvel Tulip

A - Brown, slightly translucent, mega foamy off-white-almost-tan head. Constant carb streams coming from sediment for about 20 minutes.

S - Not too much aroma. Was expecting more of a spice presence. Light sour fruit notes.

T - Whoa. Crazy funky tart. Definitely not expecting that. Tart cherries, bitter grapefruit. The citrusy note surprised me as well. As it warms it's got kind of a creamy smooth middle. Finish is long and sour tart.

M - Feels medium bodied.

O - This one really threw me for a loop. I haven't had many from Cigar City. I'm a long time fan of the loose style of the saison. From the very beginning of the pour through the end of the last sip I struggled to find any obvious saison characteristics. If you go in to this tasting with the same mind set that you would an American wile ale, you will love it. For that style I thought it was very good. I know nothing on the background of this specific brew, but was something wild let loose inside?

It's a mistake to drink this one any colder than 50 degrees.

Being categorized as a saison is a mistake in my opinion, but I will rate it as one.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

big thanks to kirkpjr for this one !

poured cold from the bottle a deep dark mahogany brown to a dogfish head signature glass with a huge two+ finger long lasting head leaving a fair amount of spotty lace after each sip.

funky, near vinegar aroma.

very funky, dirty, farmhouse, vinegar, overripe fruit, tart and sour.

huge carbonation, medium bodied, tart and a dry finish.

overall - interesting, though not a favorite style, so perhaps not a fair review. very tart.

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Sea Bass from Cigar City Brewing
3.66 out of 5 based on 194 ratings.
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